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Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

Poole's Textbook on Contract Law (15th edn)

Robert Merkin QC and Séverine Saintier
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date: 17 July 2024

p. 49313. Breach of contractlocked

p. 49313. Breach of contractlocked

  • Robert Merkin, Robert MerkinProfessor of Commercial Universities of Reading and Exeter
  • Séverine SaintierSéverine SaintierAssociate Professor in Commercial Law Exeter Law School, University of Exeter
  •  and Jill PooleJill Poole50th Anniversary Professor of Commercial Law and Head of Aston Law Deputy Dean, Aston Business School, Aston University


Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. There are four ways to discharge a contract: by performance, agreement, frustration, or breach. The standard of performance required in relation to each contractual obligation needs to be identified because a failure to perform to the required standard constitutes a breach. In the absence of lawful excuse, a breach of contract arises if a party either fails or refuses to perform a contractual obligation imposed on that party by the terms of the contract or performs a contractual obligation in a defective manner. While every breach of contract will give rise to a right to claim damages, the contract will remain in force unless the breach constitutes a repudiatory breach. The chapter examines the types of repudiatory breaches and the election to terminate or affirm, together with an assessment of the law governing the identification of a repudiatory breach and the consequences of terminating when the breach is not in fact repudiatory. It also examines the options available to the non-breaching party when an anticipatory breach occurs.

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